HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Divers may soon wax lyrical about some new hot installation -- The water's fine

Frigid ocean depths may become a more hospitable place for scuba divers who have to spend hours underwater at temperatures just above freezing, thanks to the US Navy.

For some jobs, divers can wear "hot water suits" that rely on warm water being pumped around a suit via a hose from the surface, but the hose can get in the way. So the US Navy has long been experimenting with special materials to prevent heat loss. Now it looks as though they're finally getting somewhere.

The secret is a layer of foam containing bits of wax inside tiny plastic beads, each just a tenth the width of a human hair. These bits of wax melt and freeze as the temperature changes. While the diver is putting on the drysuit, the wax absorbs warmth from the diver's body and melts. But when the diver slips into the icy waters, the wax freezes, radiating latent heat back to the diver.

The waxes are long hydrocarbon chains that have been chosen because of the temperatures at which they change phase. To provide optimal warmth to the diver, the waxes must melt at a temperature below that of bare skin-about 33 C. Similarly, the waxes must freeze at temperatures as high as 18 C to provide enough heat to the diver.

So far, the warming effect lasts for about the first half an hour or so of the dive (Ocean Engineering, vol 26, p 547), but the US Navy wants to improve on that, says Lew Nuckols, of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, the Navy scientist developing the suit. He is looking at various ways of extending the warming period, such as packing more of the waxes into the diving suit liner or weaving the beads into layers of synthetic fabric instead of foam.

The beads, which look like fine dust, can be placed inside fabric fibres by mixing them with the liquid polymers used to make artificial fibres. Fabrics such as polypropylene, which is water-resistant, are made by pumping a liquid polymer through a device like a spaghetti-maker. Anoth
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-171-331-2751
New Scientist
24-Jun-1999


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Fostering Diversity in the Sciences Symposium
2. Diversity: What people, grain sorghum have in common
3. Diversity hot spots at cold seeps?
4. JGI and Diversa Corp. announce large-scale microbial sequencing collaboration
5. Diversity of species triumphs
6. Diversity of trees in forests may be caused by soil pathogens, IU biologists find
7. Undiscovered Biological Diversity: A Symposium On Bioprospecting
8. New Areas Of High Biological Diversity Discovered
9. Little-Explored African Genetic Diversity May Hold Key To Human Origins, Medical Questions
10. Researcher Finds Worlds Most Diverse Home Of Slime Molds
11. "Health Of Hanford" Conference Gathers Diverse Audience To Review And Discuss Health Issues

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , April 26, ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys ... announced a partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) ... customers enhanced security to access and transact across ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market ... 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. Gait ... which can be used to compute factors that ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial ... Bready , M.D., who returned to the company in ... leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver ... Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... NeuMedics Inc. is pleased to announce that CEO Iain Duncan ... June 2, 2016. The session begins at 1:10 PM and Iain will present the ... used as a topical agent and a treatment for ophthalmic complications of diabetes. , ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Weeks after hosting a ... Phoenix, Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice, hand surgeon and founder of the Fitzmaurice Hand Institute, has ... Wrist MRI machine is a state-of-the-art technology and only 1 of about 3 currently ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... City, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... Development Manager, Turf and Ornamental Products. , In his 15-year career with PBI-Gordon, Dave ... Herbicide Product Manager, where he was integral in the development and launch of many ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Doctors in Italy, Japan, the UK and the US have ... (BAP1) gene and its link to malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the ... article now. , The studies analyzed for the new report included more than ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: